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About the book
  • Published: 4 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781409019824
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 592


Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic

A gripping and timely book about the transmission of highly dangerous diseases from animal to human populations.

First, a horse in Brisbane falls ill: fever, swelling, bloody froth. Then thirteen others drop dead. The foreman at the stables becomes ill and the trainer dies. What is going on?

As globalization spreads and as we destroy the ancient ecosystems, we encounter strange and dangerous infections that originate in animals but that can be transmitted to humans. Diseases that were contained are being set free and the results are potentially catastrophic.

In a journey that takes him from southern China to the Congo, from Bangladesh to Australia, David Quammen tracks these infections to their source and asks what we can do to prevent some new pandemic spreading across the face of the earth.

  • Pub date: 4 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781409019824
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 592

About the Author

David Quammen

David Quammen is a recipient of the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the author of several acclaimed natural history titles. His book, The Song of the Dodo, won the BP Natural World Book Prize in 1996.

Also by David Quammen

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Praise for Spillover

“Quammen’s book is compelling and shows that there are many candidates out there vying to be the next pandemic”

Euan Lawson, British Journal of General Practice

“A frightening and fascinating masterpiece of science reporting that reads like a detective story”

Walter Isaacson

“Quammen has a wide range of knowledge, an agile pen, and a generous heart”

James Gorman, New York Times Book Review

“A tremendous book...this gives you all you need to know and all you should know. Quammen’s research and the analysis make sensationalism unnecessary”

Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

“Mr Quammen is not just among our best science writers but among our best writers, period...that he hasn’t won a non-fiction National Book Award or Pulitzer Prize is an embarrassment... Quammen is a patient explainer and a winning observer, he has a novelistic flair for describing his fellow humans... Quammen, combining physical and intellectual adventure, wraps his canny explorations into powerful moral witness”

Dwight Garner, New York Times

“One of that rare breed of science journalists who blend exploration with a talent for synthesis and storytelling... This is a timely, serious and impressive work that marks the maturation of a field of microbiology”

Nathan Wolfe, Nature

“Terrific…the stories of the victims and the scientists are told in astonishing detail”

Caroline Ash, Guardian

“He [Quammen] ranges with ease over decades and continents, drawing upon years of interviews and field trips with scientists...[he] is a lively writer and a good detective, tracing diseases from their first appearance back to their origins—in some cases, still unsettled... Quammen does not shy away from the lurid question of the “next big one” that will be on readers’ minds from the start”

The Economist



“Chilling… {A} brilliant, devastating book”

Christopher Hudson, Daily Mail

“Let's not beat around the bush. This is an extraordinary book. David Quammen has woven a story of incredible complexity; a detective story with a difference, with a host of murderers – all of them real”

Dr Alice Roberts, Observer

“A hugely entertaining book”

John S. Oxford, The Lancet

“A cliffhanger account of dangerous zoonotic viruses spilling over from animals to humans, and the researchers who study these pathogens”

Annie Proulx, Guardian

“A gripping, literate adventure story”

Tim Radford, Guardian

“A respectable and highly readable science writer”

The Economist

“One of the best pieces of science writing I’ve read for years… The detective work is brilliant, and stunning to read. He gets it, every step of the way, and explains it beautifully”

William Leith, Evening Standard


Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

“A collection of stories about diseases, called zoonoses, that humans acquire from other animals”

Caroline Ash, Guardian

“Part detective story, part in-depth exploration of the realms of microbiology, Quammen mixes fact with enticing storytelling to provide a fascinating and timely read”

Big Issue in the North

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